Do you feel bored in your life or at work?
Or maybe a little bit disenchanted?
How much do you experience joy in your life? (10% of the time? 50%? 90%?)
What if it was possible to experience more joy, wonder and awe?
One of my favorite things that can occur in life to make it as bright as it should be (according to me) is a bit more MAGIC!
Let’s look at a few interesting definitions of magic (source):
- move, change, or create by or as if by magic.
- the power of apparently influencing events by using mysterious or supernatural forces.
- mysterious tricks, such as making things disappear and reappear, performed as entertainment.
- a quality of being beautiful and delightful in a way that seems remote from daily life.
- exceptional skill or talent. informal
- having or apparently having supernatural powers.
- very effective in producing the desired results.
- wonderful; exciting. informal
It is interesting when we look at the etymology of the word “Magic” that it comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *magh- meaning “to be able, have power.” (source) (Surprisingly, it is the same root that gave rise to the words “machine” and “mechanic”!)
Magic can come in different shapes and colors and forms:
The other day, I was pulling out some weeds in the garden. There was a blue woodlouse in the middle of the rumbled earth. Later on, there was a beautiful black spider, with a few white dots, and blue fangs! These were magical moments. In a similar way, more than a decade ago, I was on a scuba-diving liveaboard, where you spend 4 days and 3 nights on a boat scuba diving 3 times a day, off the Andaman coast in Thailand. I asked one of the divemasters what were his favorite dives. This guy had been in so many places and had so many dives under his belt. He did mention the caves of Cozumel in Mexico. But one of the most memorable dives for him was a dive with low visibility in a mostly muddy area in quite shallow water. And there, in the middle of the dive, was this little fish that came out of nowhere, stayed a bit, and disappeared. That is what I call a magical moment.
Magic can also take amazing proportions in wonder and awe. Last weekend, a very good friend invited me to attend The Universe In Verse, organized by Maria Popova and held in an amphitheater in the middle of redwoods at the University of Santa Cruz, California. It was a full moon, and as the speakers read lovely poetry and prose, we could gaze at these lovely human beings, surrounded by amazing tree beings, and when we raised our gaze to the skies, we could see constellations of stars watching us, little humans. The astronomical society of Santa Cruz had been invited to the event and had installed a few telescopes for us to see the Moon in magnifying glasses and a few stars from the Great Bear constellation. Magical moments.
Magical moments can be serendipitous. Yet, we also can create them. In this article, I will try to flesh out a few ways that can help us in this creation process:
1. The Yes Man Game
The experience last weekend was created by saying Yes to Life. Saying Yes to that friend’s invitation (although initially, I had said No).
Have you seen the movie Yes Man, with Jim Carrey? He plays Carl, a bank loan officer who is bored in his life and sad following the divorce with his wife. He goes to this personal development seminar, and during the show, the inspirational guru invites him on stage. He challenges him to say Yes to everything that comes his way. At first, Carl resists, but the crowd cheers him up until he yields and accepts this challenge.
Carl’s life takes up a whole new turn as he ends up in a few fun adventures, and dating a lovely woman.
If you feel the call, your Mission, if you accept it, is for today, or for a week, or a month, to accept whatever comes your way with a YES, and see what happens !
2. The Paperclip vs. House Game
Do you know the story of Kyle MacDonald, the guy from Montréal who traded a paperclip for a whole house?
He started off with a paperclip, and put an ad on the internet saying he would exchange this paperclip for anything that has a value equal or higher to it. Someone traded the paperclip for a wooden novelty pen shaped like a fish, which someone exchanged for a little ceramic knob made by an eight-year-old boy… A year later, Kyle exchanged his paperclip (which had become a movie role) for a house! Now that’s MAGIC!
(If you would like the full story, read this.)
That is a lovely illustration of the magic that can happen through exchange, which gives accelerated energy and force to whatever we do.
What would you be willing to exchange today?
3. The power of Giving
In a similar vein to the story above, there is a power in Giving. Whatever you give out will come back to you in a similar or different form, and likely in an expanded form. The goal of this game is to make sure that the ledger of the Universe is always in your favor. In other terms: make sure that the universe always owes you. The best way to do so is to abundantly give. Giving can be something material, but it can be also immaterial. Giving a smile, a kind word, listening to someone, or offering your presence to a person or a place, wherever you are.
What can you give today? Who can you give to? How can you give yourself?